In theory, losing weight seems pretty straightforward. Work out, eat healthy foods, and the pounds will just fall off, right? We wish! When it comes to eating right, we all have a pretty good grasp on what nutritious foods we should be adding to our diet, and what foods we should definitely be avoiding at all costs. However, when it comes to training your brain to crave the right foods, eating right becomes easier said than done! Luckily, it is possible to retrain those taste buds so that you aren't constantly thinking about those not-so-nutritious snacks. Take a look below to learn more!
1. Don't quit cold turkey. Chances are, those fatty, salty and sugary foods have been an essential part of your pantry for as long as you can remember. Unfortunately, the more you eat of those kinds of foods, the more you crave them. Luckily, the reverse is true, as well. The less you consume those addictive foods, the less you will ultimately desire them. The key is to start slow. Try cutting out half the sweetener you use in your coffee or tea, or sub out a candy bar for an apple. These little changes will help make the adjustment much easier.]
2. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Maybe you've always despised broccoli, or perhaps the way Brussels sprouts look freaks you out. Research shows that continuously taking one "no thank you" bite of a disliked food whenever it is served will eventually help desensitize you to the flavor. Eventually, you will find that you have grown accustomed to the taste of that food, and hopefully you will find yourself adding an extra serving to your plate!
>> Recipe: Balsamic Orange Brussels Sprouts
3. Reinvent your most avoided foods and dishes. Keep in mind that there are a variety of ways to cook different foods, which can significantly alter the flavor. If steamed asparagus isn't your thing, try throwing it on the grill with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Voila! You've got a brand new side dish to sample! Vegetable stir-fries are a great way to stock up on important nutrients while still enjoying those sweet and spicy Asian flavors. Just keep an eye out for the nutritional info! Dousing your food in sodium or sugary condiments will really rack up the calorie count.
>> Recipe: Quick Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry
4. Take an artistic approach to your food. When it comes to food, we are notoriously shallow. We can often trick our taste buds just by creating a plate of food that looks appealing. Adding a variety of bright colors (like peppers, zucchini and berries) to your plate will automatically trigger those salivary glands. Before you know it, you'll actually be craving that steaming cauliflower rice bowl or delectable summer salad.
Tricking those taste buds is simpler than you think. If we overwhelm our senses with fresh, vibrant and healthy foods, eventually we will have no problem incorporating them into our daily diet! For more information, check out our sources here: Women's Health Magazine and Eating Well.